Mural Project Hits Snag With Property Owners

Hotel developer blames lack of communication

Mural Project Hits Snag With Property Owners

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Mural artists had planned a final swan song on a building that will soon be torn down to make room for a boutique hotel in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone.

Mural project organizer Laura Inks said she had invited artists from Santa Maria to Los Angeles to collaborate one more time, but instead they were greeted by police over the weekend.

Ink said the project helped prevent graffiti by turning people known for graffiti into true artists.  It also helped bring art enthusiast to the Funk Zone.

Rick Arumbulu of State Street Hotel Partners wrote in an email: "We do not have any issues whatsoever with artists painting murals on the building as long as they are within the designated areas as we are required to comply with city rules and regulations.  What happened last Friday was clearly a lack of communication as we were not notified by the artist groups that this event was even going to occur. " 

He said the new hotel would include a wall for a mural on Helena Avenue.

Laura Inks said the property manager had her number and could have called.  She said she never had a problem with prior owners.

Funk Zone business owners hope the changes won't prevent the artistic atmosphere of the area.

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